National League Division 1 Week 3 Preview

Division 1

Lee Keegan

Mayo and Dublin have served up some classics in recent years.

Dublin v Mayo

But for a late penalty conceded by Mayo against Tyrone in their last game this would be a match up of two sides with 100% records.  As it stands Mayo travel to Croke Park looking for a win to get their push for the semi finals back on track.  Mayo have made a number of changes for this tie but still field an experienced side.  They are missing 3 key forwards in Alan Dillon, Cillian O Connor and Andy Moran.  Dublin have shown the depth of their squad in convincing wins over Kerry and Cork.  Dublin have scored freely so far in the league but have not come up against a defence as compact as Mayo so they may not find scores as easy to come by.  Games between the two tend to be exciting affairs and this should be another one to add to the recent epic encounters.

Verdict: Mayo

Tyrone v Donegal

This is a preview of the first round clash between the two in the Ulster championship.  Tyrone have started their campaign with 2 wins while Donegal have 1 win and 1 loss.  A win for Tyrone would leave them with one foot in the semi finals at this early stage as well as strike a psychological blow ahead of their championship clash.  Sean Cavanagh has spoken this week of how the challenge is for Tyrone to catch Donegal.  They will look at this as an important game so early in the year.  Jim McGuiness,who is qualified in sports psychology, will also see the importance in this game.  This should be a high tempo game in Omagh and as a result Tyrone are better primed for that sort of game so early in 2013.

Verdict: Tyrone

Kildare v Kerry

Both team have had contrasting starts to their respective campaigns with Kildare winning both of their games and Kerry losing both.  Kerry have been awful in their losses to Mayo and Dublin.  The Dr Crokes players are now available to Eamonn Fitzmaurice, Colm Cooper is taking some time out to rest, as is Kieran Donaghy who starts at midfield with Eoin Brosnan.  Kerry will get their performances up and have a stronger looking side for this clash.  The Lilywhites have been impressive in beating Donegal and Cork and with one more win should assure their Division 1 status.  They may find though that they are the ones to feel the Kerry fightback.

Verdict: Kerry

Down v Cork

Both of these sides have lost their opening two games.  Both sides are in similar positions with lots of questions to answer after last year’s championship and both starting slowly in the league.  The loser of this tie will be embroiled in a relegation fight for the remainder of the campaign.  Cork beat Down comfortably twice in last year’s league as well as in the 2010 All Ireland final.  They might find the tables turn this week when the visit Newry.

Verdict: Down

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